Sunday, 20 September 2009

The UFO Files - The inside story of real-life sightings

David Clarke, who has helped The National Archives during the UFO file releases of the UK UFO related documents has recently published a book which extensively details certain reports collected over the years as well as the nature and trends of their content.

The official blurb from The National Archives is as follows:

The UFO Files by David Clarke
The inside story of real-life sightings

The UFO Files reveals extraordinary reports by ordinary people along with details of official interest and investigations stretching back to before the First World War – for although the terms UFO and Flying Saucer were not coined until the middle of the twentieth century, people have long seen things in the sky that they could not explain.

David Clarke uncovers an array of startling stories from possible UFO reports hidden among Met Office investigations of aerial phenomena in the 1920s to the conclusions of Project Condign, the hush-hush British Intelligence UFO study completed in 2000. As well as covering Roswell and Britain’s own Rendlesham Forest mystery, Clarke raids the records for dramatic stories of abductions and close encounters, ghost aircraft and crop circles, and UFO reports by civilian aircrew and military personnel. Dramatic witness statements and interviews – many undertaken by the author himself – combine with rarely seen photographs, drawings and newly available documents to offer a unique guide to one of our most intriguing mysteries.

Contents: Introduction; 1. Strange Lights in the Skies; 2. The Flying Saucer Age; 3. Cold War UFOs; 4. Close Encounters; 5. Crop Circles and Alien Abductions; 6. Turn of the Century UFOs; Afterword.

And to herald this release The National Archives currently has an edited extract from Chapter 2 of The UFO Files by David Clarke (published September 2009) available for free download as a PDF document from the main UFO page.

The following is an excerpt from Dave's Blog last month just after the most recent (4th) release of documents:

“News of the latest UFO files released by The National Archives has travelled around the world.

I spent most of yesterday dealing with calls from the national and international media and shuttling between BBC, ITN, Channel 4 and Sky News studios in London to comment on the significance of the new files. Public interest in the contents has been unprecedented and once again, most of the UK media have treated the topic in a serious and mature way. Yesterday morning I was able to explain the historical importance of the files to Evan Davies on BBC Radio 4's prestigious Today programme, which in itself is a measure of the impact the release has had.

The Rendlesham forest incident was discussed and a short interview with one of the key witnesses, John Burroughs, was used. This in itself was significant because Burroughs said he was unconvinced the incident was of an extraterrestrial nature - he suspects it was some kind of military experiment.

For once it was good to hear an alternative viewpoint expressed coherently and lucidly, rather than the usual tired debates about whether you "believe" or "don't believe" (who cares?). Coverage was extensive in the national and regional press, with leading articles in The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Independent and Scotsman. BBC News Online ran a lead article and a more in-depth look at the connection between UFO sightings and science fiction in popular culture.”

Details of how to obtain Dave's new book is available at The National Archives online book store (here).

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